This week we are moored in Coventry Basin at the very end of the Coventry Canal.I’ve wanted to get here since 2007 when we came into the basin on a hire boat.Back then we couldn’t find a mooring so we had to leave and,as there was nowhere for us to moor for the next 5 miles,we missed out Coventry all together.This time the basin is virtually empty,with only three other boats moored.The journey down from last nights mooring at Hawkesbury Junction,where the Oxford Canal leaves the Coventry Canal,was uneventful,I have no recollection of what it was like in 2007 so it all seemed new.It reminded me of one of the reasons I like the canals so much,it was like a secret passage flanked with trees and hedges with just the briefest of glimpses of familiar places.Everything looks so different from a canal,even places only a few yards away that you travel almost daily,can look as though you’ve never been that way before.The Coventry is pretty much like any urban canal,there’s some rubbish,but that could largely be wind blown,there was just one old tv and that was well out of town.There isn’t any more graffiti here than on any other canal,in fact there’s probably less.Some years ago the local authority spent a lot of time and money on brightening this canal up and,though it now looks a little careworn,it doesn’t look like the urban jungle that so many people would have us believe.
Last Tuesday we steadily made our way off the Ashby Canal,in the company of John and Sheila on Water Ratz,turned onto the Coventry Canal and headed to Atherstone.We were to part company with John and Sheila on Wednesday morning as they were heading back to Trent Lock and we intended to stay a day or two before heading here.We helped them down the first five locks of the Atherstone flight and then said au revoir,we plan to meet up with them again sometime next year around Northampton.After they left us,it was into Atherstone for a bit of good old retail therapy and some pleasant surprises.Atherstone is a great little place with quite a bit of interesting history as well as a number of,what can best be described as,inexpensive shops.Anyone getting the chance to visit Atherstone should make for The Larder Restaurant,it’s a 1940’s Pie and Mash eatery offering a different experience in dining out.
A haven for the Ducks and Moorhens in the side pond at the top of the Atherstone Flight.John bringing Water Ratz into the top lock with Lisa and Sheila looking on.
Sheila with Lisa and John with me as we said au revoir.
Just a couple of the strange and varied sights you can see on our canals.These are just two of the scenes on the Coventry Canal at a place called Charity Dock.
We left there on Friday morning intending to take a very very gentle cruise to Coventry,taking the best part of three days and a bit to cover the 17 miles.One day we didn’t move at all,letting the solar panels top up the batteries,while we took a stroll along the towpath collecting firewood to give us a bit of warmth on the chilly nights that we are now experiencing.On Sunday we stopped a hundred yards or so from the junction of the the Oxford Canal and nipped into The Greyhound for a very pleasant pint or three of Pedigree.
The Coal Boat Auriga moored just past the junction at Hawkesbury,and the stop lock on the Oxford Canal just before Hawkesbury Junction,referred to as Sutton Stop.The Greyhound pub is at the Junction,just out of shot.
A statue of James Brindley at the basin here in Coventry and a view of the basin with Mr Brindley standing with his back to us.You can see how empty the basin is in this shot.
We’ve just had a few hours to spend in Coventry today but we’ll get more time tomorrow.On the left is a pic’ of the old Cathedral that was fire bombed on the 14th of November 1940 and on the right is good old Lady Godiva who took her clothes off to protest at high taxation.
Well that’s all for this week I’m afraid.Since last Monday we have done 0 Locks and 32 Miles,giving us a grand total of 480 Locks and 767 Miles since October last year.Take care everyone.